07 August 2021

Tolerance and individual choice

I would apply the last point to religion vs religious people -- religion is a form of ideology.  Religion is evil, most religious people are not.

What I find bizarre and repugnant is the attitude that there exists some one "correct" way of being which is right for everybody.  I'm willing to tolerate pretty much any preference or behavior that doesn't involve direct and immediate harm, harassment, or threats to the rights of anyone else (I reject overly broad, nebulous, or indirect interpretations of "harm" which in practice could be used to justify banning pretty much anything that somebody doesn't like).  People are different, and have different needs and desires.

Most pornography doesn't do a thing for me, and I even find a lot of it actively repulsive.  But I have nothing against it for those who do like it.

I don't own a gun.  That's a personal choice I've made.  I have nothing against those who do choose to own guns.  That's a choice they have a right to make.

I don't use drugs (I tried marijuana after it became legal here, but eventually lost interest), but I have nothing against those who do, and imprisoning people for possession of drugs for personal use is insane.

I hate arguing and debating and refuse to engage in it.  I don't deny that it can be entertaining or valuable for those who do engage in it.

There's nothing more revolting to me than the smell of cigarette smoke, but if some people choose to smoke, it's their own business, so long as they don't do it in situations where other people are exposed to it.

I reject snobbery.  I'm intensely interested in languages, evolutionary biology, science fiction, history, travel, and technology.  I have no interest in sports, social media, rap music, cooking, superhero movies, gardening, celebrities, or romance novels.  I don't look down on people whose constellation of enthusiasms and dislikes is different from mine.  Whatever excites you is what's right for you.  Nobody's taste is better or worse than anybody else's.

If you disapprove of same-sex marriage, then just don't marry someone of the same sex.  If you don't approve of birth control, then just don't use it.  If you imagine that there is such a thing as "overpopulation", then just refrain from having children.  If you believe that having sex outside marriage is wrong, then just don't do it.  If you're offended by books and articles that attack religion, feminism, patriotism, atheism, or whatever, then just don't read them.  But don't go around being a pain in the ass toward people whose values and desires lead them to seek out different experiences and ideas than you do.

And we should always be striving to find ways to broaden the range of acceptable speech and behavior, not seeking ways to limit it.

The world would be a very boring place if everybody lived within such a narrow range of acceptable options as the busybodies wish to impose.


Blogger Lady M said...

Ok so this is a personal question. Since becoming vegan, do you find more of a need to be interested in cooking?

07 August, 2021 12:05  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Not really. Most of what I eat is very simple, vegetables over rice and things like that. It doesn't take any cooking ability.

In any case, one can often need to do something, but one cannot need to be interested in something. You're either interested in it or you aren't. You can discover a need to do something you find boring, but doing it because you have to doesn't make it interesting.

07 August, 2021 13:14  
Blogger Mike said...

Even if things got down to that narrow of narrowest ranges, I think there would still be people that would find faults in other people to make themselves feel superior.

07 August, 2021 15:45  
Blogger SickoRicko said...

Ah, but the busybodies of this country (and parts of the world) are actively doing their darndest to create that very boring place in their own image.

07 August, 2021 16:31  
Blogger NickM said...

Ah... infidel... That is where we differ (in the best possible way). I have found going vegetarian (my wife is vegan) very interesting cooking-wise but then I love cooking. As you say (and I fully concur) each to their own and the World would be North Korea if that were not so.

07 August, 2021 16:36  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Mike: Probably true. The impulse to identify and cast out the "impure" will always be there.

Sicko: Well, for most of history most of the world was pretty much like that -- in most cultures the range of available life choices was very narrow. Over the last couple of centuries it's gotten broader. Reactionaries are always trying to reverse progress.

Nick: That's fine -- different interests are just different, not wrong.

08 August, 2021 01:25  
Blogger Jack said...

There do seem to be an awful lot of people (many of them identify as Christian) who are very interested in passing laws to compel others to behave more like they do. Of course, they justify this by claiming that it isn't what they want but what their "god" wants. And here in the U.S., they keep getting away with it.

08 August, 2021 04:02  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Gods usually hate all the same things as the humans who created them hate. That's a big part of the reason for creating them.

Abrahamic religions that want to force everyone else to live by their taboos are a pestilence.

09 August, 2021 06:02  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

SS (deleted): As you know very well, I have no problem with the existence of trans people. What I object to is the practical consequences of trans ideology which threaten the rights, safety, and health of others. See here. As to this blog specifically, the relentless harassment via troll comments means that I have zero tolerance for any pro-trans comments here, from anyone. It's the equivalent of kicking a guest out of your house for being rude. It doesn't mean I think anybody shouldn't be allowed to exist.

09 August, 2021 11:08  

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